Quick and easy chicken vegetable soup with Israeli couscous recipe
Almost every Sunday when I'm at home, I make a pot of soup. I open the refrigerator door, see what's left from the week's cooking, and start tossing things into my red five-quart Dutch oven. This week, feeling a bit achy and sniffly, I wanted some variation on chicken soup. Nothing fancy, just a good, basic, chicken soup to banish the blahs. As often happens on the weekends, I had some bits of a rotisserie chicken left from the week's picking. The meat went into this soup, along with large chunks of vegetables, and the carcass went straight into the slow cooker to make stock. A small amount of Israeli couscous added texture; if you don't have it, use any small pasta (orzo, dittalini, etc.). Best of all, I harvested thyme from my herb garden for the first time this season, and I'm convinced that made this soup extra-special. After having a bowl for lunch, I didn't feel blah at all.
Quick and easy chicken vegetable soup with Israeli couscous
2 tsp olive oil
1 small onion, peeled and cut into large dice
1 medium carrot, cut into large dice (if organic, no need to peel)
1 large celery stalk, cut into large dice
Leaves from 2 sprigs of fresh thyme
2 cups cubed cooked chicken
6 baby Yukon Gold or red-skinned potatoes, quartered
1 quart chicken stock, homemade or low-sodium store-bought
1/4 cup Israeli couscous (or orzo or other small pasta)
3 Tbsp roughly chopped flat-leaf parsley
Kosher salt and fresh black pepper, to taste
In a small Dutch oven or stock pot, heat the olive oil. Add the onion, carrot and celery, and sauté for 2 minutes, until the vegetables soften. Add the thyme leaves, and stir for another minute.
Add 1-1/2 cups of cooked chicken, the potatoes, and the stock to the pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer and cook, partially covered, for 15 minutes. Stir in the couscous, and continue simmering for 10 minutes, until the couscous is cooked and the potatoes are soft when pierced with a knife.
Stir in the remaining 1/2 cup of chicken, all of the parsley, and salt and pepper to taste. If you've used store-bought stock, you might not need more than a pinch of salt, if that. You'll want a good bit of black pepper, though. Remove the pot from heat, and let sit for 1 minute.
Serve hot, or allow to cool completely and refrigerate or freeze.